Overcome Your Fear of Improvising This Summer!

Thank you to Wendy Stevens, a friend and colleague, for sharing the efforts of 88 Creative Keys at her highly respected site ComposeCreate.com. Below is part of Wendy’s post and a link back to her site so you can read the rest. Wendy has been an advocate of creativity, obviously, from the start of her blog COMPOSE CREATE.com. We are thankful for her interest and support of our efforts. Overcome Your Fear of Improvising This Summer! “I’m always excited when there is an organized effort to help students and teachers foster the creativity that is already in them and us. Here at the beginning of the 21st century, I am seeing a shift in our profession in the area of reading music and improvising. Have you noticed how many of the methods have started incorporating more improvisation exercises in their books? If you were at MTNA, you might have noticed that … Read more…

Make a Resolution and Join the Eye Ear Revolution!

Eye players read music; Ear players improvise. To broaden their musical creativity and stylistic range, contemporary musicians need instruction in both. Reading music and playing by ear used to be common among European classical musicians until about 100 years ago. Then, as the minimum technical abilities required to interpret and play the repertoire grew with increasing complexity, creative music making gradually ceased to be a part of formal music education. 88 Creative Keys, a joint effort of Bradley Sowash and Leila Viss, is carving a path for 21st century strategies that balance and combine the eye and ear. Here at CreativeKeys.com (a companion blog to 88pianokeys.me) you will find the following: 1) Exercises to develop ear skills 2) Articles about what inspires the mind of an improviser and composer 3) Outside-the-box ideas to color your teaching, playing, performing… 4) AND….We’re promoting the first EVER: Eye Ear Revolution II III II III II … Read more…

Inspire with a Movie Script

It’s never too early to be creative. Plan to let your budding musicians explore the wonder of music at the first lesson. Plug into their unlimited imaginations and let them create a soundtrack. The Creative Corner Series at 88pianokeys, aims to equip you with improvisatory tools. Pull out this movie script by Bradley Sowash for a fresh change from the lesson routine and let the imagination soar. Soundtrack Improvisation PDF by Bradley Sowash Have you ever noticed how much the music in a movie influences the way you feel about a particular scene? Click here to read more.

Ignite Creativity at the First Lesson

Those first lessons with beginners can seem awfully long–all the instructions to give about posture, the keyboard, key names, high, low…. Although I offer young pianists the chance to explore all the concepts by touch, sound, movement, and fun (of course), there is no way to avoid a great deal of talking/explaining. The child may go home with just one piece to play because there is so much to know before “reading” can kick in. Can you imagine how beginning lessons must feel to those eager, tiny fingers? Or, some opt to begin lessons later as teens or adults and of course want to learn quickly and get their hands on the keys and make some music ASAP. Adding some creative and rote assignments can satisfy those hungry minds and fingers. These tasks can provide that necessary “carrot” to keep them coming back for more. Here are some ideas for encouraging … Read more…

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